Musings With Malcolm – FISHLIPS and the Joy of Your Own Kid’s Laughter

 

I am a father who has no problem showing public displays of affection to my children. I sometimes will hug my own daughter when I see her at school whether other students observe it or not.

And I will hug and kiss my son when I see him.

And I think it is a manly thing to do because Malcolm willingly receives that affection and in most every case he will return it.

That’s priceless.

There is a common perception that children with Down Syndrome are “lovebugs” who generally hug and love on anyone who allows them to.

That’s not always true. Malcolm is actually very selective with whom he shows affection or even acknowledges. If you get a hug or any sort of response from him that indicates that he genuinely wants your attention, then consider yourself honored. He does not really do that to many people who are not his age.

So, even though I am the pater familias, I still find it rather flattering that my kids want to spend time with me.

Add to that, there may be no better sound in all of the world than the genuine laughter of your own children.

There are those endearing games that you can play with your kids that always elicit laughter no matter when played.

“Fishlips” is one of those games that I play with Malcolm.

 

 

 

“Exhuming McCarthy” – R.E.M.’s Song That Explains Dictionary.com’s Word of The Year

Since Donald Trump has won the presidential election and Brexit was approved, it seems only fitting that each has a direct influence on the 2016 Dictionary.com “Word of the Year” released today.

Xenophobia – noun: Fear or hatred of foreigners.

In a nation that was built on immigration it seems interesting that the word of the year would be so appropriate when it has such negative denotations and connotations. But the word “xenophobia” captures so much of what is happening in this nation and in other nations.

And the word of the year also shines further light on the fact that irony makes this nation and world “go ‘round.”

Consider the poem by Emma Lazarus, “The New Colussus”, that is affixed on the base of the Statue of Liberty near Ellis Island.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

How that poem and the word “xenophobia” can collide in the same sentence seems implausible, except we are talking about a country that just elected Donald Trump as president. And we are talking about a country that not so long ago immersed itself into a Red Scare led by the one and only Joseph McCarthy.

Just this past summer, Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, who hypocritically tried to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about an affair when he himself had ethical issues to answer for, offered one of the most McCarthyistic (yep, made that up) suggestions of the last fifty years when proposed that we deport all practicing Muslims.

As reported in The Atlantic by David A. Graham in the July 15, 2016 issue,

Newt Gingrich effectively called for the deportation of all practicing Muslims from the United States Thursday night. His suggestion, which would almost certainly be unconstitutional, represents perhaps the most sweeping call for a religious test proposed by a mainstream political figure over the last few years, which have seen a strong backlash against Islam.

“Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be. Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported,” Gingrich said on Fox News. “Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia—glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door.”

Of course, Donald Trump stoked those very fires that Gingrich continued to fan when he suggested that we ban all Muslims from coming into America. That, and he helped cement the word “Xenophobia” as the Word of the Year when he promised to build a wall on the Mexican border.

So in mock-celebration of the xenophobia being practiced in a country built on immigration that supposedly practices freedom of religion and freedom of speech and expressions, I offer another poignant R.E.M. song for the mix tape that is already dedicated to this next administration.

“Exhuming McCarthy”

 

You’re beautiful, more beautiful than me
You’re honorable, more honorable than me
Loyal to the Bank of America

(It’s a sign of the times)
(It’s a sign of the times)

You’re sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen
Sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen

Vested interest, united ties
Landed gentry, rationalize
Look who bought the myth
By jingo, buy America

(It’s a sign of the times)
(It’s a sign of the times)

You’re sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen
Sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen

Enemy sighted, enemy met
I’m addressing the real politic
Look who bought the myth
By jingo, buy America

“Let us not assassinate this man further, Senator, you’ve done enough.
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

You’re sharpening stones, walking on coals
To improve your business acumen
sharpening stones walking on coals
To improve your business acumen

Enemy sighted enemy met
I’m addressing the real politic
You’ve seen start and you’ve seen quit (I’m addressing the table of content)
I always thought of you as quick

Exhuming McCarthy, exhuming McCarthy (meet me at the book burning)
Exhuming McCarthy, exhuming McCarthy (meet me at the book burning)

Loyal to the Bank of America? Check!
You’re sharpening stones, walking on coals? Check!
Look who bought the myth By jingo, buy America? Check!
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? Damn right –  Check!

Thank goodness that many high schools still teach The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s dramatic allusion to the Salem Witch Trials to give the next generation a look at what it means to target people based on circumstantial evidence at best. In fact, it’s what happens when we confuse logical fallacies with real logic.

Such misappropriation of knowledge and common sense allows for xenophobia to grow and take root, sweeping through isolationist mindsets like wildfires during a drought.

But of course, Trump and Gingrich may want those flames to be fanned.

It means more books will be burned.

Automatic For The People -An R.E.M. Mixtape For The Next Administration

When you grow up in rural Georgia in a small town like I did, then the radio can be one of the few windows to an outside world. That and a collection of cassette tapes that you purchased over time at Turtle’s or Record Bar in Athens, GA when you went to the orthodontist or the doctor. Why Athens? Greensboro, GA only had 3500 people and was the county seat. If you wanted to go somewhere that had “something” you had to travel.

However, I was sent to Athens to go to high school. A kid from the “country” drove 30 miles each way to attend high school in a college town that became the hub of alternative rock music and the college sound.

So what happened was that the cassette collection I had in my home in Greensboro became a home for bands like R.E.M. Many a summer day in a hay field had me with a Sony Walkman with an R.E.M. tape playing.

I wear three lanyards where I teach high school. Don’t ask; it’s complicated. One of them has an IPod Shuffle (1st generation). My students invariably tease me about such antiquated equipment. After I tell them that I control their transcript and ultimately their academic lives, I then explain that it has all of my R.E.M. on it.

This past spring, I met one of the more eclectic gentlemen with a passion for public school, a knack for the law, and the ability to wear life like a loose cloak. And he worked with R.E.M for years.

And he knows where Weaver D’s is. And like me, knows that Philomath is an actual place near Athens.

R.E.M. disbanded in 2011, but they never disappeared. Their songs were politically and socially charged and are still pertinent to today’s political terrain. In fact, maybe more so.

So I dedicate this post to Bertis Downs and dedicate this R.E.M. mix tape to Donald Trump and his new cabinet in hopes that maybe they would listen to the words that others say instead of speaking out loud to listen to themselves.

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  1. Welcome To The Occupation” – from the album Document

“Hang your collar up inside
Hang your freedom higher
Listen to the buyer still
Listen to the Congress
Where we propagate confusion
Primitive and wild
Fire on the hemisphere below”

With a President-elect and the most inexperienced cabinet ever assembled, I sincerely hope that Trump has some understanding of what he will be responsible for. If he’s worried about how many Twitter followers that he has, he will soon realize that there will be no need for Twitter to become the focus of the media and the world. The microscope that his life will be examined through will not be forgiving. His life is not his own.

  1. Can’t Get There From Here” – from the album Fables of the Reconstruction

“Hands down, Calechee bound, landlocked, kiss the ground
Dirt of seven continents going round and round
Go on ahead, Mr. Citywide, hypnotized, suit-and-tied
Gentlemen, testify”

“Mr. Citywide, hypnotized, suit-and-tied” might be one of the most appropriate phrases to describe Trump. But with all of his campaign promises and fiery rhetoric, he is about to realize that he can’t get there from here. At least some of us know where Philomath is considering that we can’t go back to Rockville.

  1. Cuyahoga” – from the album Life’s Rich Pageant

“This is where we walked
This is where we swam
Take a picture here
Take a souvenir.”

I thought it very ironic that the RNC Convention tok place in Cleveland, a democratic stronghold, but what makes this song so pertinent is the tribute to the original settlers of our country. This song also came to mind because I have not really heard Trump make comment on the North Dakota pipeline debacle.

  1. Everybody Hurts” – from the album Automatic For The People

“When your day is long
And the night, the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life, well hang on.”

The video for this song is still one of the greatest ever. When I think of the lyrics, I am reminded that one of the promises made by politicians in seeking election is that they understand the plight of the average person. Trumo certainly played on those emotional appeals, but something tells me that while he may outwardly sympathize, he has no perspective to empathize.

There are too many people of varying race, creed, socio-economic background, and orientation who do not see the world as a friendly place. Trump has not done much to make them all feel welcome. This song preaches inclusion, not exclusion. It celebrates bridges (look at the video), not walls.

  1. Get Up” – from the album Green

“Life is rough, rough (get up, get up, get up)
I’ve seen you laying down (get up)
With the loving kind (get up, get up)
I know life is hard, hard (where goes your time?)
Where to turn? Where to turn? (get up)”

If you did not vote in this election, then Get Up for the next one.

  1. Losing My Religion” – from the album Out of Time

“Oh life, it’s bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up”

Life is bigger than Trump. Now that he will be president, he has many lives that are bigger than his. The term “losing my religion” has been explained to me as losing faith in someone or something. That makes sense when I think of the electoral college.

Besides, religion and spirituality are two different things.

  1. Orange Crush” – from the album Green

“(Follow me, don’t follow me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh).”

This song refers to the Vietnam War. And while Orange Crush is a soft drink from my childhood it is a direct reference to Agent Orange. My hope is that Trump and his cabinet will have enough spine to not insert our country into military action when not necessary.

  1. World Leader Pretend” – from the album Green

“I sit at my table and wage war on myself
It seems like it’s all, it’s all for nothing
I know the barricades
And I know the mortar in the wall breaks
I recognize the weapons, I’ve used them well

This is my mistake
Let me make it good
I raised the wall
And I will be the one to knock it down”

Walls. Waging war. Will Trump understand that the world does not follow him because he is himself?

  1. Finest Worksong” – from the album Document

“Take your instinct by the reins
You’d better best to rearrange
What we want and what we need
Has been confused, been confused”

Actually, now is the time to get to work.

  1. It’s The End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” – from the album Document

Please. You need an explanation?

Open Letter to Sen. Richard Burr – Do Not Confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

Senator Burr,

As the senior senator of our state embarking on your third term in office, your voice in the national arena carries both weight and experienced perspective. And while you and I share many differing opinions on issues that affect our country, I do believe that we share a passion to make sure that all students have access to a great public education.

In preparing to cast my vote this past election, I did review your website to glean your perspective on some issues that seemed to become lost in the national debate with what might be one of the more bombastic presidential elections in history. On your www.burrforsenate.com website, you posted on op-ed you wrote for the Fayetteville Observer entitled “Giving our children a better future.”

In it you made statements such as:

“Our children are the future of North Carolina, and they represent the best of us. I am proud to be an avid defender of North Carolina students in the Senate.”

“As a part of my commitment to defending North Carolina students, I was proud to offer an amendment to fix a long-standing inequality in education funding that has shortchanged North Carolina’s teachers, schools and low-income students for over 15 years.”

“My amendment makes sure that federal education funding meant for schools that serve kids from low-income families actually goes to those very schools.”

“This means that with more education dollars coming to North Carolina, we will have more teachers in North Carolina helping our students get a great education.”

“We have made great strides this Congress to deliver control of K-12 education back to local communities, while making sure limited federal education funding is going to the communities that need it the most. But making sure that our children are getting the best education possible is going to be an ongoing fight for North Carolina families in Washington. I’m pledging to continue fighting for North Carolina’s schools, teachers and students, because a brighter future for North Carolina students means a brighter future for North Carolina.”

What I sense in these words is a commitment to our public schools.

In fact, you are the son of a former public school teacher and a graduate of R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. I teach at another school in Reynolds’s district, West Forsyth High School, and am proud to report that Reynolds still holds an incredible reputation as a historically effective institution and I know many of the fantastic teachers who work there.

However, we are experiencing in North Carolina a decline in teacher candidates. Why? Because public education is under attack. And when public education is under attack by “re-forming” efforts like vouchers and unregulated charter school growth then communities suffer. Your wife is a leading realtor in the Triad area. I feel very confident that she could tell you the effect on the “value” of property that the public school system has on communities.

I say all of this because President-elect Trump has appointed a candidate to lead the nation’s public schools who very well may be the most unqualified individual to ever be considered for the position.

And you have the power to help keep that from happening.

When you ran for reelection, you touted your experience. Experience in certain fields seems to be an important factor when running for leadership positions.

Betsy DeVos has none whatsoever. In fact, when searching her background of ill-fated credentials, I found that:

  • Betsy DeVos has no degree in education meaning she is not even educated in how to educate.
  • Betsy DeVos has no teaching experience.
  • Betsy DeVos never attended a public school or state supported university. None of her children have either.
  • Betsy DeVose’s monetary contributions to Christian-based schools and evangelical organizations has been conservatively estimated at $200 million.
  • Betsy DeVos is totally anti-union and believes that teachers are paid too much.
  • Betsy DeVos supports vouchers.

The idea of a privileged billionaire “privatizer” leading the nation’s public schools is more than contradictory or antithetical; it’s diametrically repugnant.

So, I ask that you do not confirm her as our Secretary of Education.

Senator, your election is over. You can now fully attend the business of our country while focusing on how our state can be best represented. If any of the words in the aforementioned op-ed you wrote still have weight, then Betsy DeVos cannot become our schools’ leader.

You said on your website (burrforsenate.com), “My mother was an elementary school teacher who understood the value of education and its power to lift people out of poverty.”

Betsy DeVos does not have that understanding.

 

 

Sincerely,
Stuart Egan
Public School Teacher
Parent of Two Children in Public Schools
Voter

 

Welcome to Betsy DeVos’s BLACKWATER CHARTER SCHOOL, Home of the “Mercenaries” and Pioneers of the Pyramid Scheme Curriculum

Welcome to Blackwater Charter School, Home of the Mercenaries and pioneers of the “Pyramid Scheme Curriculum.”

Considering that the new Secretary of Education appointee is married to the heir of the Amway fortune, a pyramid selling scheme, and sister of the founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince , the idea of such a school is not that far-fetched.

If you do not remember what Blackwater was (as it is defunct), you can see that it is still on the radar of many in the federal government. Just take a look at this –

“Mr. Prince, who founded Blackwater — since renamed Academi — in 1997, gained notoriety when security contractors employed by his company killed 17 Iraqi civilians during a 2007 assault in Baghdad. Four of his guards were later convicted in U.S. court of either murder or manslaughter charges as a result of that incident.

More recently, Mr. Prince has “sought to secretly rebuild his private CIA and special operations enterprise by setting up foreign shell companies and offering paramilitary services,” The Intercept reported http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/24/erik-prince-former-blackwater-chief-under-investig/.”

Academi? How appropriate is it now that his sister is about to become the mother of public schools?

But think about it. Blackwater Charter School just might be the perfect school for pro-charter GOP legislators to establish in North Carolina. Why?

Well,

  1. It would be supported on a federal level by DeVos. That wouldn’t hurt.
  2. It would be funded by tax payer money. Even Blackwater was funded with taxpayer money during the Iraq War.
  3. There would be no need to contract security from local police officials. The school would have Academi. It might be the safest place in the state. But don’t worry, their bill will be footed by the taxpayers.
  4. It would have a hidden curriculum and a grade distribution system that would mimic the pyramid selling scheme that is manifested in Amway which means that…
  5. All health and beauty supplies needed by the school already have a supplier – Amway. In fact, when the taxpayers buy the products for the school to use, then it actually is pocketing money for people like DeVos because she is at the top of the Amway Pyramid.
  6. Considering that North Carolina has in place HB2, a piece of legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ community, it makes since to have a charter school crafted in DeVos’s image as she is considered one of the more anti-LGBT individuals in the country with her contributions to organizations that oppose LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.
  7. As a devout conservative Christian she surely would agree with the religious freedom bills that many in the NC General Assembly so religiously embrace.
  8. And as seen with schools that use public money through the Opportunity Grants, the Blackwater Charter School could also maintain an admission standard that allows it to exclude a number of potential students whose religious backgrounds and sexual orientations might come in conflict with the school’s vision.
  9. With HB2 and the ability to funnel money into a strong security presence, Blackwater Charter will also have a person at the door of all bathrooms to check birth certificates to assure that HB2 is being followed,

And just imagine the athletic teams all decked out in desert-camo uniforms with black trim. Even the mascot, the Mercenaries, would strike fear in any opposing teams.

Betsy DeVos -The Worst Choice for Secretary of Education

Picking Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education is like letting an arsonist loose in a drought-ridden forest and giving her gasoline and matches to play with. Furthermore, she controls the weather.

It’s a terrible choice by President-elect Trump and an indication that the privatization movement that already has a head start in North Carolina now has a national champion.

The New York Times, which of course is not Donald Trump’s favorite newspaper, ran a report by Kate Zernike on Nov, 23rd, that sums up the DeVos certain effect on public schools.

But Ms. DeVos’s efforts to expand educational opportunity in her home state of Michigan and across the country have focused little on existing public schools, and almost entirely on establishing newer, more entrepreneurial models to compete with traditional schools for students and money. Her donations and advocacy go almost entirely toward groups seeking to move students and money away from what Mr. Trump calls “failing government schools” (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/politics/betsy-devos-trumps-education-pick-has-steered-money-from-public-schools.html?_r=1).

When the government has the ability to change the criteria by which traditional schools are measured while controlling the resources those schools get and also being able to “interpret the data” and tweak the variable by which schools are graded, then what is mentioned above is really a carefully planned self-fulfilled prophecy that screams the need for “reforming.”

Just look at North Carolina that has a school grading system which beautifully shows how poverty affects the extreme amount of schools that are graded as “D” or “F” and then turns around and celebrates a graduation rate among high school students that is at an all-time high.

So, the idea of a privileged billionaire “privatizer” leading the nation’s public schools is more than contradictory or antithetical; it’s diametrically repugnant.

Simply look at her resume in public education:

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In fact, when it comes to public education, this is what becomes apparent. And you can do your own research on the following. It is actually rather common knowledge, especially in Michigan.

  • Betsy DeVos has no degree in education meaning she is not even educated in how to educate.
  • Betsy DeVos has no teaching experience. NONE, but she will be the leading official for public schools in the nation.
  • Betsy DeVos never attended a public school or state supported university. None of her children have either.
  • Betsy DeVose’s monetary contributions to Christian-based schools and evangerlical organizations has been conservatively estimated at $200 million.
  • Betsy DeVos is totally anti-union and believes that teachers are paid too much.
  • Betsy DeVos supports vouchers like no other.

That’s right. The top official for public schools has no experience as a student, parent, teacher, or administrator of public schools, but she does have experience in funding privatization movements.

But as the spouse of the heir to the Amway fortune who had her own privileged childhood, Betsy DeVos does have great, ample experience in throwing money into causes that she feels would benefit her own ideology and personal interests.

In Jane Meyer’s book Dark Money, Betsy DeVos is quoted as saying the following,

devose

That’s disturbing. She just admitted in that quote that she expects favors in return for her “philanthropy.”

Trump seems to have allowed a woman to have control over the government’s spending on public education to possibly funnel more into vouchers and other privatization reforms, most likely with Title I monies that actually go to traditional school in the first place.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA President issued the following statement yesterday after DeVos accepted Trump’s offer.

“Betsy DeVos has consistently worked against these values, and her efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers — which take away funding and local control from our public schools — to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense. These schemes do nothing to help our most-vulnerable students while they ignore or exacerbate glaring opportunity gaps. She has consistently pushed a corporate agenda to privatize, de-professionalize and impose cookie-cutter solutions to public education. By nominating Betsy DeVos, the Trump administration has demonstrated just how out of touch it is with what works best for students, parents, educators and communities.”

When Trump espouses school choice he does not realize that not everyone really gets a choice when it comes to schools. He never really had to confront the situation. His family’s resources ensured that never happened. DeVos enjoyed a similar situation.

Betsy DeVos’s resume and “philanthropy” make Trump look more “pro-Public education,” and you must know that Trump is not a proponent of public schools.

What needs to really be discussed is that while the word “choice” is included in the phrase “school choice” what it really means is that families get to choose to be in a lottery that may never “choose” them. What it really means is that families get to choose to try and get money to attend a private school that has every right to not accept them and probably costs much more than a voucher could fund. What it really means is that most families don’t have a choice because someone else has made the choice to not fully fund or fully resource public schools based on uneducated ideas. What it means is that when some students may get into a charter situation, money is taken away from students who still attend traditional schools.

The job of Secretary of Education is to help ensure that every community and every zip code has a public education system that works.

Betsy DeVos’s words and actions do nothing but preach privatization and educational segregation.

This country is divided too much already.

“Breaking Good” – Cookin’ Love and Frying Turkeys

breaking-bad

Propane Tank. Check
Peanut Oil. Check
Kitty Litter. Check
Balding Head. Check
Out of Control Facial Hair. Check
Purpose. Check
Am a Teacher. Check

 

That’s right. It’s our annual episode of Breaking Good when I fry a turkey with love and thankfulness for those I share life with.

This has become a tradition of sorts. You know, the frying of a turkey that seems to have addictive powers over those who consume it eventually causing a letdown that requires a trip to a nearby sofa to “sleep things off” while a pro football game screams in the background.

It’s the preparation that really makes the product such high quality.

Inject the turkey and rub it right. Heat the oil with propane and a hissing flame from the burner. And a thermometer to make sure it’s the right temp.

Then there is the matter of timing, weight and minutes per pound algorithms that help to guide a guy like me with balding head, teaching certificate, facial hair, and a sometimes snarky sense of humor to cooking the greatest of birds.

And think, after binge eating on bird, you can then binge watch shows like Breaking Bad.

And for those politicians in Raleigh, Walter had to take that extra job. Teachers really don’t make that much.

You’re welcome for the great smells drifting your way.

Gobble Gobble.

Musings With Malcolm – Krispy Kreme Kurt Rambis

The boy got new glasses today. Actually they’re specially made for a kid with his good looks. 

If you notice in the picture these glasses come with a strap and a specially fitted nose bridge. Just right. 


Grandma won these frames at the Buddy Walk. Mom took him to get them lenses. I got to pick them up with the little man. And he likes them. 


Then we go get a donut at the only place that is fully endorsed by Malcolm – the Krispy Kreme in Stratford Road. 

Then once we get there I have this moment. He looks just like Kurt Rambis, formerly of the Lakers and now a coach in the NBA. He was known for his glasses and blue collar mentality. 


Eerie, ain’t it?


Then if you remember an earlier post about Malcolm’s love of coffee, as I write this post and reach for my coffee I notice the little man has absconded with my coffee. 


Probably because he sees the cup in full focus. 

North Carolina, We Made The Top 25 False Beliefs, Urban Myths, and Debunked Claims List!

  1. The world is flat.
  2. The Earth is the center of the universe.
  3. She turned me into a newt.
  4. Deoxygenated blood is blue.
  5. Gum takes seven years to digest.
  6. Bulls go mad at the sight of red.
  7. Water flows down toilets in a different direction in South America.
  8. Don’t swim for an hour after eating.
  9. Eating raw cookie dough gives you worms.
  10. Left-handed people are of the devil.
  11. Alchemy.
  12. The Four Humours.
  13. The Earth is only 4-5 thousand years old.
  14. Humans use only 10% of their brains.
  15. You should piss on a jellyfish sting to relieve pain.
  16. Twinkies have a shelf life of 15 years.
  17. Tupac is alive.
  18. The devil tempts teenagers when records are played backwards.
  19. Red headed people have no souls.
  20. Conversion Therapy.
  21. Obama is a Muslim.
  22. Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen.
  23. There are large gators in our sewers.
  24. Someone else wrote Shakespeare’s plays.
  25. Gov. Pat McCrory’s claims that there is rampant voter fraud that caused him to lose the 2016 gubernatorial election.

Shakespeare and the Carolina Coup

Some of Shakespeare’s most famous phrases best explain the soap opera that Pat McCrory’s campaign has cast our state in with this desperate attempt to salvage the election.

“Seen better days” – As You Like It II, vii

Remember when democracy worked in such a way that the person with the most votes won? Rather ironic when it comes to the North Carolina gubernatorial race because the person with the fewer votes seems to be acting as if he was supposed to have gotten the most votes.

“Budge an inch” – The Taming of the Shrew, Induction, i

At every instance of McCrory protesting votes and spilling propaganda, Roy Cooper’s lead has not even budged one inch. In fact, it has grown.

“Pomp and circumstance” – Othello, III,iii

All of the motions and legal actions taken by McCrory’s campaign have simply been pomp and circumstance. But nothing defines this grand illusion more than the Civitas Institutes lawsuit over same-day registration. Interesting how the word “civitas” means a “body of citizens” because our body of citizens has already elected Roy Cooper.

“Method in the madness” – Hamlet, II, ii

Simply put, McCrory wants to hijack the election through a political coup through a maddening exhibit of baseless claims.

“Neither rhyme nor reason” – The Comedy of Errors, II, ii

McCrory’s assertions of a rigged election that actually out people like Trump in national office and Dan Forest back as Lt. Governor make no sense other than that the people in NC see a better option for governor in Roy Cooper’.

“It smells to heaven” – Hamlet, III, iii

Bullshit does that.

“Wild goose chase” – Romeo & Juliet, II, iv

McCrory’s campaign has been on a wild goose chase since the night of the election. The problem is that McCrory’s goose has already been gotten.

“Forgone conclusion” – Othello, III, iii

That’s right. Cooper won.

“A sorry sight” – Macbeth, II, ii

It is a sorry sight that McCrory has not already conceded the election. But when you are too busy on a wild goose chase that defies rhyme and reason for the sake of pomp and circumstance and smells to heaven, then it is hard to see how sorry of a sight this is.

“The be-all and the end-all” – Macbeth, I, vii

Isn’t that what voting brings? The end-all and be-all?

“Good riddance” – Troilus and Cressida, II, xvii

When sanity sets back in and Cooper is declared governor then I will say “Good riddance.”